English-language reports available at police stations

national December 20, 2018 09:50

By The Nation

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Five Thai police stations have started to use bilingual police reports, signs and instructions for British nationals and other English-speaking tourists.



The pilot initiatives, with support from the British Embassy Bangkok, have been introduced at Suvarnabhumi Airport Police Station, Don Muang Airport Sub Police Station, Thong Lor Police Station, Chanasongkram Police Station (Khaosan Road) and Muang Chiangmai Provincial Police Station.

These sites were chosen as they have a high number of British nationals visiting.

The idea for a bilingual report came from feedback the embassy received from consular customers, who found that language differences were making it difficult for them to engage with Thai Police, a statement from the embassy said on Thursday.

Signs and instructions on how to fill out police reports were not previously available in English so there was a risk of misunderstanding or incomplete police reports.

The embassy has seen an increase in the number of requests for help with translation from British nationals at police stations.

Working with Thai police, the British Embassy created signs and forms for police stations in both Thai and English.

These bilingual materials should reduce the confusion and anxiety created by language barriers and further encourage English-speaking tourists to report incidents to police, the statement said.

Margaret Tongue, Deputy Head of Mission for the British Embassy Bangkok, said the embassy worked closely with Thai authorities to ensure the best possible support for those who encounter difficulties.

Providing bilingual report forms will ensure clear communication between the affected tourists and Thai police, and provide assurance that they have the right information, she said.

“I look forward to hearing about the positive impacts from this pilot project, and to continue effectively working together with Thai authorities,” she added.

She said Thailand is a very popular destination for British tourists and the vast majority of visits are trouble-free.

Pol Lt Col Nanichara Aphithanakhun, Inspector (Administration) at Thong Lor Police Station, said the initiatives are fresh, innovative and simple and tackle the common issues often found in Thai police stations when dealing with foreigners.

“Having the bilingual police report form and clear English instruction signs will support the distressed British nationals and other foreign nationals in need of our service,” he said.

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